So, it’s not many times that I can say I’m actually excited to be writing the Rag. I’ve enjoyed doing it, but it’s a monthly thing for me and has been for many years. But, when you have two national titleholders living in your home state, that’s cause for celebration, in my opinion.

Coti Collins, Miss Gay America 2011. Photo Credit: Tios Photography

By now, most of you know Luscious just won Miss Gay U.S.ofA., and we have Miss America Coti Collins living in Raleigh (although she’s doing her La Cage gig in Oregon right now). We hope to do a separate write-up about Miss LuLu since she is the first Carolinian to win this U.S.ofA. title, although many Miss Americas (seven) have ties to the Carolinas by birth or living arrangements. In fact, Luscious is one of those, too.

She competed as Miss Georgia with excellent promoters. And, sponsors, too, I’m sure. Her runners-up included Amy DeMilo (also her RU at the state prelim), Natasha Braxton, Naomi St. James and Delores Van Cartier, followed by Alina Maletti, Trinity Taylor, Chelsea Lauren, Kennedy Davenport, Kathryn Nevets, Adeciya Iman and Justice Paige Counce. Our own Jessica Raynes Starr won Most Beautiful — a feat that has not been pulled off by a “boy queen” (an impersonator who lives as male) in ages! Please see future articles about more NC accomplishments. NC is back on da map, kids!

That same weekend, Catia Lee Love, a former Miss America, and might as well be a Carolinian, won Miss Gay U.S.ofA. Classic. Others in the Top 6 included Dina Jacobs, Alexis Principle, Aaron Davis, Coco Chandelier and Iroc Octavia Goodness.

Since I’m harping on the Miss America contest, too, it’s only right that many months after her win, we feature a picture of Coti Collins. I know, it’s about time, gal. Recent qualifiers to this contest in the fall up in Columbus, OH include Miss Oklahoma Roxie Hart (former Miss EOY); Atlantic States, Jessica Jade and RU Monica Moore; Virginia, Onyx Revlon; and Mid-Atlantic, Tatiyanna Voché.

Another contest quickly approaching is the newer, exciting All-American Goddess in Dayton, OH. With competitors like Brittany Moore, Strawbella Bea’Goddess, Kori Stevens, Aurora Sexton, Michelle Fighter, Shae Shae LaReese, Nina DeAngelo, Sania DeLa Cruz, Mercedes Alexander, Alana Steele and Jasmine International, it’s no wonder I’ll be in that audience! Plus, I’ll get to see my good AAG at Large sisters, the reigning Dena Cass (sick-o-ning promos, check out the website!) and Kelexis Davenport. See y’all there!

Other contests quickly approaching that I just may pop up at — Miss and Mr. Unlimited At Large in Hickory the third week in June and Miss TX FFI and At Large in San Antonio for July 4th weekend.

Local contests that have taken place include Miss NC EOY, which Asheville’s Manhattan won. Her RUs included Jayda Colby, Malayia Chanel Iman and Macaria Rage. I hear Miss EOY Vanessa DeMornay was wonderful and Chad Michaels was also in the house!

On the NC America scene, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do! Nirobi will be competing as the alternate to Miss Metrolina and the new Miss Greensboro is Brianna Davis with RU Ferocia Starr. The new Miss DIVAS is Jade Paris with RU Robyn Cassadine and Miss Asheville Angela Lopez with RU Jacquelynn L. Matthews. Angela also recently just won the Miss Rainbow In contest and her RU was Malayia Chanel Iman.

Other big names coming to town, folks, at the Scorpio: Former All-American Goddess and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 3 contestant India Ferrah; Miss Erika Norell on Friday, July 1, and from the “Drag Race” Season 2, Jujubee on Sunday, July 3!

This column is dedicated to the memory of a dear old sis, Tracey Stephens of Chicago and Charlotte, and who had been living in Atlanta. Tracey was 1st RU to Miss NC America in 2009. : :

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